This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Mali’s ‘Savior’ says that France’s fight is far from over
- Hong Kong faces a powdered milk crisis
- Japan arrests China fishing boat accused of fishing Japan’s fish
Mali’s ‘Savior’ says that France’s fight is far from over
Timbuktu woman: ‘I just want to say thank you from myself and the people of Mali – Vive la France! I hope Francois Hollande continues to help us and that that we can stay free like this’ (BBC)
France’s president François Hollande visited Bamako and Timbuktu inMali and received a rapturous welcome from his former colonialsubjects, with shouts of “Hollande the savior,” and “the angel whostopped the disaster in Mali.” However, Saturday may well be thehigh point of France’s military adventure in Mali, becauseFrance “won” the war with barely a single casualty. Accordingto Hollande,
“There is still a whole part of the north that remainsunconquered … There are terrorist elements concentrated in someareas of the country, others who are dispersed. There are risks ofterrorism. So, we have not yet finished our mission.”
The jihadists could not counter the well-equipped French and Malianarmies, supported by air power, and so they simply melted away, takingrefuge in the mountainous and inaccessible areas on the borders. Fromthere, they can mount hit and run attacks, and fighting that war willrequire the use drones in the way that the U.S. military is using themin Pakistan and Yemen. However, France does not have the capabilitiesto fight that kind of war, and may be forced to call on Nato and theU.S. for help. Hollande said, “We do not foresee stayingindefinitely,” (famous last words), but didn’t specify any specifictime frame for departure. Reuters and BBC
Hong Kong faces a powdered milk crisis
Hong Kong’s government has announced a string of emergency measures tocope with the shortage of milk powder and baby milk formula on grocerystore shelves. The problem is that mainland Chinese mothers don’ttrust the quality and safety of milk powder manufactured on themainland. In 2008, thousands of babies got sick because Chinese milkproducers added melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plasticsand fertilizer, to their milk products, in order to give theappearance of higher protein levels. (See “A generational view of China’s growing melamine food disaster” from 2008.)
The recent crisis has been exacerbated by a surge in “paralleltrading” in milk powder. That phrase refers to unauthorizedexports of a product to another country (in this case, milk powderto mainland China), in order to make unauthorized profits. Paralleltraders have been flooding Hong Kong markets and carrying asmuch milk powder back to the mainland as possible, where theytake advantage of mothers’ anxieties and charge extremely high prices.
Among the measures that Hong Kong authorities are taking to stopparallel trading of powdered milk are:
- Any person departing Hong Kong is limited to 1.8kg of milk powder.
- A 24-hour hotline has been set up for parents needing milk powder. It received 3416 calls on the first day.
- The weight of luggage carried by passengers on mass transit will be restricted.
- The government will profile people entering Hong Kong from the mainland, and refuse those who appear to be parallel traders.
This parallel trading dispute is only the latest example of thecontempt that Hong Kongers have for mainland Chinese. As we described last year, a popular song inHong Kong is “Locust World”, which describes how mainlanders come toHK like a swarm of locusts that are “experts in stealing, cheating,deceiving and lying.” South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and People Daily (Beijing)
Japan arrests China fishing boat accused of fishing Japan’s fish
Japan’s coast gard arrested the captain and 13-man crew of a Chinesecoral fishing boat on suspicion of fishing in the Japan’s exclusiveeconomic zone (EEZ) without permission from Japan. The boat tried toescape after it was originally spotted by a patrol plane, but Japan’scoast guard caught up. A similar incident in 2010 set off aninternational uproar and caused a huge wave of xenophobic nationalismin Japan. Japan was forced into a humiliating climbdown after Chinathreatened severe trade sanctions. Earlier in the day, Japan’s PrimeMinister Shinzo Abe spoke about the island dispute with China to aCoast Guard audience:
“Since the country has acquired the ownership of theSenkaku islands, there has been an increase in incursions andpatrols by Chinese government vessels. I highly commend the dailywork and the effect that you of the Coast Guard [have] as youprotect the waters around our country.
It can be predicted that the situation in the southwestern oceanwill continue to be difficult. I hope that you of the Coast Guardwill continue in your work of protecting Japan’ssovereignty.”